Affordable Care Act – Five Years Later

Just a reminder. As a cancer survivor, I was well aware that no other carrier would take me if I ever wanted to leave my insurer (who I pay myself, thank you).

These four points alone are important. The law can always be tweaked to be better, but that’s been the same regarding Medicare and Social Security. The law is passed then constantly improved.

I, for one, am happy this first important step was taken.

#Forward.

President Obama Takes A Victory Lap After SCOTUS Ruling For Obamacare

After a 6-3 ruling in favor of Obamacare, President Obama takes a victory lap.

It should be noted that had the law been gutted by an unfavorable ruling, over 6 million Americans – primarily in red states – could have lost their health insurance.

Most red states refused to set up their own state exchanges to make health insurance plans available, telling their citizens to use the federal exchange which was the target of the SCOTUS lawsuit.

One court rules against Obamacare, another court rules in favor

On the same day that the Fourth Circuit of Appeals ruled in favor of government subsidies for people signing up for Obamacare health coverage, a second appeals court in the District of Columbia has ruled against such subsidies.

The DC Circuit Court seems to have determined it’s ruling on what appears to be the equivalent of a typo.

Via Vox:

The plaintiffs rely on an unclearly worded sentence in the law to argue that Congress never intended to provide subsidies in federally-run exchanges and so the subsidies that are currently being provided in those 36 states are illegal and need to stop immediately.

This is plainly ridiculous. The point of Obamacare is to subsidize insurance for those who can’t afford it. The point of the federal exchanges is to make sure the law works even in states that can’t or won’t set up an exchange.

For Congress to write a law that provides for federal exchanges but doesn’t permit money to flow through them would have been like Congress writing a transportation law that builds federal highways but doesn’t allow cars, bikes or buses to travel on them.

Meanwhile, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals saw things differently:

“It is…clear that widely available tax credits are essential to fulfilling the Act’s primary goals and that Congress was aware of their importance when drafting the bill,” the Fourth Circuit Court ruled.

Only 16 states and the District of Columbia set up their own exchanges. This would mean, following the DC Circuit Court ruling, that the 4.7 million who signed up for subsidized health coverage through HealthCare.gov would be affected.

The Obama administration has said it will appeal to the full District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

For now, the law remains unaffected by the rulings until all appeals are exhausted.

Obamacare beneficiary who resisted signing up now says it “probably saved my life”

Dean Angstadt, left, with Bob Leinhauser (Photo courtesy of Bob Leinhauser)

What happens when you ONLY watch FOX News?

Dean Angstadt needed life-saving heart valve surgery but didn’t have insurance. He refused to sign up for Obamacare because, since he only watched FOX News he’d only heard bad things about the policy.

Finally a friend pulled an intervention and forced him to sign up for a health insurance policy – a Silver Blue Cross PPO policy that costs him $26.11 a month. The policy took effect just before he had heart surgery.

From the Washington Post:

But what accounts for Angstadt’s resistance to Obamacare in the first place? He says that he “leans” Republican and essentially listened to what the GOP had to say about Obamacare, and not so much to what the Democrats had to say. As for his media diet, Anstadt says he goes online for some of his news, but when it comes to television, “Fox News, of course, and that’s basically what I watch on TV,” in addition to local news, he says. “I like some of those radicals” on Fox News, he says. “I like O’Reilly.”

Asked if Fox News had molded his view of Obamacare, Angstadt responded, “Yeah, yeah — they get people fired up. You know what, I really do have a different outlook on it. It’s really wrong that people are making it into a political thing. To me, it is a life-and-death thing.” Of Obamacare’s namesake, Angstadt says, “I didn’t care for Obama. I can’t say nothing bad about him now because it was his plan that probably saved my life.”

There you have it folks. You can watch FOX News and prepare to die, as Dean Angstadt did, or you can look around and listen to other folks. It just might save your life.

Obamacare site gets record traffic as public support moves into positive territory

The federal Obamacare website is experiencing “record volume” Monday, the deadline for enrolling in coverage, the Obama administration said.

At the same time, news comes that the Affordable Healthcare Act has more support than naysayers for the first time.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll found 49 percent of Americans support the law and 48 percent oppose it.

Support surged among Democrats, jumping from 65 percent in January to 76 percent today.

Even among conservatives, support doubled to 36 percent of them backing it now compared to 17 percent in November. Still negative numbers, but a strong sign of improvement.

Also, on the constantly voted upon issue of repealing the law, Americans were also narrowly split: 49 percent of all respondents oppose those efforts, and 47 percent support them.  Among registered voters the split was a slightly wider 50 percent oppose versus 46 percent support.

Obama Administration issues guidance to insurance companies regarding family coverage for same-sex spouses

ThinkProgress points to newly released guidance that requires Marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act to enroll same-sex spouses in family coverage selected through the healthcare.gov marketplace:

In the guidance, HHS plainly states that group and individual market insurers regulated by the Affordable Care Act cannot deny family coverage to legally married same-sex spouses where family coverage for opposite-sex spouses is offered. Coverage for same-sex spouses must be offered regardless of the state where the couple lives, or where the policy is issued, so long as the couple is legally married. This determination is based on regulations implementing the law, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in marketing and plan benefit design.

The guidance doesn’t address civil unions or domestic partnerships.

One more reason why folks need to see marriage equality in all 50 states.

Ever wonder why you’ve heard so much about the “victims” of Obamacare?

Via Occupy Democrats

First of all, we learn that many “victims” of Obamacare were actors with fake stories

Then, we learn other “victims” of Obamacare will actually SAVE money under their new, more comprehensive plans.  (My favorite aspect of this story is the “victim” said the idea that it would be cheaper  – “I personally do not believe that.”)

So why do we hear so many “terrible, awful, dreadful” details about the Affordable Care Act?

Because the multi-billionaire Koch Brothers have spent $27 million through their “Americans For Prosperity” fund to spread their lies.

Stop being sheep to Faux News and find the facts.